The San Diego County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved Tuesday a proposal to urge California Gov. Gavin Newsom to suspend the gas tax for one year.
The proposal, introduced by San Diego County Supervisors Jim Desmond and Joel Anderson, directs the county's chief administrative officer to draft a letter to the governor asking for a one-year suspension of the state gas tax in light of rising prices.
"People in my district are suffering from these outrageous gas prices," Anderson said. "No one should have to choose between paying their monthly bills and affording to put gas in their car, especially when the overwhelming majority of my constituents rely on motor vehicles and there is no feasible public transportation alternative."
The board also agreed to support a state-funded gas tax rebate and to support the efforts to ensure oil companies lower their gas prices in addition to lowering the gas tax.
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According to the Supervisors -- the two Republicans on the legally nonpartisan board -- the state has a $45 billion surplus. According to California's Legislative Analyst Office, 15% of that surplus could be used to lower gas prices across the state by 51 cents per gallon and still fund road infrastructure projects. The average price of a gallon of gasoline in San Diego County was $5.766 as of Monday morning.
"The gas tax is affecting everyone. No matter your political leaning, we should all be able to come together to lower gas prices," Desmond said. "By supporting this proposal, we can find a solution to the increasing financial burdens experienced by San Diego's residents and businesses.
"Supervisor Anderson and I represent a large portion of the unincorporated area, which requires our constituents to drive more than others. We must do whatever we can to help them," Desmond said.
Desmond and Anderson are advocating for the state to use the budget surplus to fund a one-year suspension of the gas tax.